1851 Center: Gambling Expansion in Proposed Budget is “Inconsistent” with the Constitution

Constitutional Law Center sheds light on issues with proposed budget

COLUMBUS – An Ohio Constitutional Law Center that generally supports the legalization of gambling released a letter today explaining how the proposed gambling expansion in the budget bill before the State House likely violates the Ohio constitution.

The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law’s Executive Director Maurice Thompson’s letter provides a legal analysis of how the budget proposal expands gambling beyond what the voters approved in 2009. Ohio voters consented to 4 casinos in Ohio, yet the proposed budget nearly triples this number by allowing the 7 racinos in the state to have video poker.

“The 1851 Center letter shows that you don’t need to oppose the expansion of gambling to think this is a bad move by the State House; all you need is a healthy respect for the rule of law,” said Aaron Baer, President of Citizens for Community Values (CCV).

CCV believes the provision is unconstitutional, and generally opposes the expansion of gambling in Ohio.

Thompson makes clear they may not agree with CCV’s position on the expansion of gambling, but they share CCV’s concerns about the constitutionality of the budget provision.

“Were we to adopt a position, we would likely favor the legalization of all gambling by Ohio adults, whether through financial investment, insurance procurement, or casino gaming,” Thompson wrote. “Nevertheless, our conclusion is that that Ohio Constitution currently prohibits casino gaming beyond the four casinos it designates in Section 6, Article XV.”

You can read the full letter online here.

For questions or further comments, contact CCV, info@ccv.org

Citizens for Community Values works to create an Ohio where God’s blessings of life, family, and religious freedom are treasured, respected, and protected.